Saturday, 21 February 2015

Eltham Palace / Red House

I headed to Eltham Palace this morning.

The Palace was built by the Bishop of Durham to Edward II in 1305 with the Great Hall being added by Edward IV in 1470. The Palace was home to the young Henry VIII, indeed as a palace it was second only to Westminster. I think this was in part as it was "out of town" and away from any diseases. With the rebuilding of Greenwich it fell out of favour and by the 1650's it was in a ruinous condition and by the 1890's it was reduced to Edward IV's Great Hall, the former buttery, called "Court House", a bridge across the moat and some walling.

In 1933, Stephen Courtauld and his wife Virginia ) acquired the lease of the palace site and restored the Great Hall (adding a minstrels' gallery to it) and built an elaborate home, which internally is in the Art Deco style.

  The Red House was built by Philip Webb for William Morris.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Blickling Hall

I was in Norfolk today and ended up at Blickling Hall.

Blickling is one of my favourite National Trust properties having spent many family holidays there. 

The house we see now is Jacobean but is around a Tudor Core. It is claimed that Anne Boleyn and a sister Mary were both born there.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Ightham Mote

In May 1939 the travel writer HV Morton wrote:

I was boasting to a man at Sevenoaks that I had seen most of Kent's finest houses: Chevening, Penshurst, Hever and Knole.

"But you haven't seen Ightham Mote?" he asked. "You can't be in Kent and fail to see Ightham Mote. If you don't see it, you'll always regret it!"

The house dates to the 1320's and is a lovely moated manor house.

The house was the subject of extensive renovation by the National Trust since its acquisition in 1989 (£10 million+ according to Wikipedia), The programme ended in 2004. It was also the subject of a Time Team special - and the trust will happily sell you a copy.

The house though was open long before the Trust got their hands on it.  Morton visited in 1939 when the house was opened on Friday afternoons and found "quite a small number crowd" waiting.

In 1953 was purchased by the American Charles Henry Robinson who made many urgent repairs and left it to the Trust.

Monday, 2 February 2015


I was in London yesterday so a few pictures

St Dunstan in the West

The Royal Opera House

Shop Window display with reflections.....

Living La Dolce Vita. Which I will be doing soon :)